tv MSNBC Live MSNBC September 29, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm EDT
d we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. and a good saturday afternoon. i'm craig melvin. we are 38 days out until election day, four days from now president obama and his challenger governor romney squaring off in their first presidential debate. but take a look at the real clear politics average of the latest national polls. this, this is the gap that mitt romney has to close in the next five weeks if he is to win on november 6th. topping our political headlines right now, vice president joe biden is on the campaign trail in the critical swing state of florida. as we mentioned a few moments ago. he talked about the gop ticket in ft. myers.
>> what they're doing these days, if you notice, they're not talking anymore more about what paul ryan and governor romney are really for. they're spending an awful lot of time telling you what we, barack obama and joe biden are against and what we've done. and they just attack everything. >> the republican vice presidential candidate paul ryan also has a very busy day. congressman ryan is going to have a rally in ohio in just a couple of hours. more on that in just a moment. this morning, though, he was in derry, new hampshire. >> all these promises were made in the idea of hope and change. and people, it sounded pretty good. but when the rhetoric went aside and the time to act occurred, the ideas are the old ideas that have failed time and again. >> and as we speak, former senator rick santorum is also in ohio, getting ready to stomp for the romney campaign.
he is appearing with ohio republican congressman bill johnson who is in a tough reelection race. more on all of this throughout the next hour. but we start -- we start in the buckeye state where paul ryan has the campaign event that we just mentioned scheduled in just under two hours from now. the vice presidential republican nominee has spent a good chunk of the last week campaigning in the crucial swing state, fresh off a three-day bus tour earlier in the week. ron mott travels with paul ryan. joining me on the phone now from columbus, ron, what does the romney/ryan campaign think that paul ryan can do for its message in ohio? >> hey there, craig. good saturday to you. i think he is doing exactly what this ticket believes he can do. we just made a pit stop here at the varsity club on the ohio state university campus. going in to just meet people. and you can see people coming out of surrounding buildings to come see what all the fuss is about. this is the kind of excitement paul ryan generates with his ticket. i think that's why mitt romney ultimately chose him, because he
can connect with people on a very real level. he is from wisconsin. he is a midwestern guy. he is a hunter and a fisherman. all the values that people hold near and dear in the midwest, this is paul ryan. so after this event today, though, he will be speaking to the national u.s. sportsmen alliance annual banquet. one of the challenge that this campaign has is that the message they're selling, at least here in ohio does not seem to be selling as well as the campaign would like. take a look at the latest poll numbers from quinnipiac "new york times." it's almost jaw-dropping. a 10-point lead for the president in the buckeye state. as you mentioned, 38 days to go for mitt romney and paul ryan to try to narrow that gap. ohio is important for both the president and millionth myth. probably more for mitt romney because no republican has ever won the keys to the white house without winning here. so they got their challenges ahead of them. >> hey, ron, we've been spending a lot of time talking about the presidential debate in denver. paul ryan's first debate with vice president joe biden, that's
about two weeks away. what are you hearing about his debate preparation? >> the voters we run into, they are looking forward to seeing paul ryan debate vice president biden that is on thursday october 11th in danville, kentucky. this week paul ryan, he's got some campaigning to do monday in iowa, four stop there'sment and then he is going to go to virginia for a three-day boot camp, if you will, debate camp, wednesday, thursday, friday. he is going the watch the presidential debate on wed night, and then he'll be with his team with that intensive 72-hour period trying to get prepared for joe biden. both sides are crediting the other's with being very good debaters. paul ryan, this is a big step up for him from a congressman to the national stage. he is going up against a formidable opponent in joe biden who has been in the political world for 40 years. so both sides are saying that the other's are really good and they're not taking them for granted. he is prepared and he has been getting briefings on a fairly regular basis. his arms, he is already in good
shape. but his arms are probably even leaner and meaner after toting around all those briefing notes. >> ron mott on the road with call rain on the phone for us on this saturday afternoon. ron, thank you, simple. appreciate your work. >> thank you, sir. mitt romney getting some new advice on -- and we're back. mitt romney getting some new advice on how to win next week's debate from a man who might know, karl rove. and it points to what a tricky task romney has on his hands. in an op-ed, rove says, quote, mr. romney must call out the president. that is not so easy. mr. romney can't call mr. obama a liar. that's too harsh a word that would backfire. mr. romney must instead set the record straight in a presidential tone firm, respectful, but not deferential. joining me to talk about it from washington, richard goodstein, a democratic strategist who helped
get al gore ready for the debates in 2000. on the phone from nebraska, brett o'donnell who is debate coach for mitt romney for part of the republican primary season. good afternoon to both of you gentlemen. >> good to be with you. >> let me start with you. tell me about the balance that romney has to strike, calling out, calling out president obama without appearing to be unfair or perhaps even nasty. >> well, i think it's all a matter of tone and language. and for governor romney, i would describe it as being respectfully but passionately aggressive. so in the way he refers to the president, referring to him as mr. president, with all due respect, but he also can't let that put him into a defensive posture where he doesn't -- i agree with karl rove, actually call out the president's policy. so i wouldn't phrase it as calling out the president, but calling out the president's policies. if he has a substantive debate
about the president's economic policies and what has happened with them, then i think he stays in a very safe territory. >> richard, the obama campaign going pretty far to lower expectations over the past couple of weeks. a recent report on air force one, one of the traveling press secretaries asked by reporters what is the worst thing that could happen on wednesday night. her response, quote, well, he could fall off the stage. she we replied of the president. what do we expect from president obama in denver? is he going to be sharp or is he going to be rusty? >> look, i think he is going to be plenty sharp. remember, mitt romney spent all those debates, the 23 where everybody said he won 19 of them debating within a pretty narrow window ideologically. barack obama has been dealing with people all across the spectrum, the house republicans in particular, for at least two years now. and when he is kind of tangling with the press, he is getting
questions from all angles. so i think he is going to be okay. i know the white house is trying to downplay it and say how, you know, romney is -- the fact of the matter is i think obama needs to remind people what he has done. he needs to stay cool, calm, and collected. i think the challenge is we see romney being so robotic from time to time and saying these somewhat goofy things, the $10,000 bet, you know, i like firing people, those kind of things. and i think the challenge for obama is not frankly to pounce on those. he knows exactly what romney is going to bring at him. brett is right. i think romfully be respectful. but i think the challenge will be to counterpunch as effectively as possible. >> brett, gq wrote about the squ advice you gave romney. here is a quote more using qualifiers that feed the perception of you as a flip-flopperment attack gingrich constantly, call him a washington insider, a fannie/freddie lobbyist.
make him so apoplectic he can't talk. >> i think it was a matter of focus. and assisting in terms of what needed to happen strategically. i think in this debate he's got to do the same thing. he's got to be aggressive with the president and the president's policies. if the debate becomes about anything other than the economic policies and the vision in terms he wants to lay out in terms of where he wants to take the country economically, he is losing. >> you mentioned debate about his economic policy. one of the chief criticisms that has been thrown at the governor at this point is that his economic policy is fairly vague. he hasn't laid out specific loopholes. and there are other parts of the plan that haven't been laid out in great detail. if the president strikes back, if that -- if the president comes at governor romney with that, what is going to be the governor's response? >> well, first of all, i think that's a myth. i think he has laid out a pretty
specific economic plan. and he's just got to let people know what that plan is. and i think he's got to say the president doesn't have a plan. he needs to be pointing out what the president has done policy-wise, which has got us to the place we're at now. 8% unemployment for over 40 months. he's got to keep litigating the case and make the president responsible for those economic policies. >> craig, let me respond if i can. >> yeah. >> we know two things about mitt romney's policies. one, he wants to reduce taxes for rich. and for instance we think they're going to go up for the middle las. and two, he wants to more or less make medicare a voucher program. both of those proposals, and there is no dispute about those are wildly unpopular. so if this gets into a debate about policies, that i think someone of mitt romney's problems. everybody says oh, romney is just a bad candidate. no. the philosophy that he is putting forward any republican
candidate this year would be putting forward. it just happens not to be with the public supports. >> richard knows he is not being sincere in terms of characterizing the governor's policy. >> what policies specifically? >> he is certainly, you know, certainly put forward a plan that is more specific an broader based than just tax breaks for the rich. >> i want to focus, not so much on policy here for a minute. but i do want to continue to focus on the debate here. and richard, i want to play a quick moment that president obama might wish hadn't happened in 2008. take a look. >> he is very likable. i agree with that. i don't think i'm that bad. >> you're like a bowl of -- hillary. >> he doesn't even look up when he says it. does the president have to worry about coming across as aloof or perhaps as a tad arrogant? >> look, i guarantee you that everybody in his debate prep
crowd has come at him from every angle possible, probably even criticizing the chicago white sox or the bulls to get under his skin. and i have to imagine that he is well prepped. and if there is one thing that he's got kind of when he is looking out at the audience that he is seeing in front of him is keep cool, don't get snide. if romney says, as i think it's not unlikely, something kind of off-putting to the public, insensitive perhaps. don't pounce. let the press do that afterwards. i think the odds of obama falling to that trap are pretty low. >> brett, last question to you. governor romney, the primary debater versus governor romney the presidential debater. how are they going to be different? >> well, i think if he does what he did in florida, if he goes on offense, then, you know, he'll be the same debater that he was toward the end of the primary season. and that's what he needs to do. if he gets defensive, then i
think that's a bad thing. so i think he'll go on offense, though. he certainly has a lot of material to work with. >> what do you think we're talking about wednesday morning, brett o'donnell? are we talking about how great of a performance he had or are we saying agh, this thing is probably over? >> no, first of all i think these could be great debates. you have two very capable debaters heading into the debates. and i think we're going to come out and learn more about the president's policies and learn that it was the president who is responsible for the economic conditions of millions of americans are suffering through right now. >> brett, i was going to give you the last line. i can't let it end there. richard, is that the line you think we're going to hear over and over in various forms from governor romney? and if that is the line, what is the counter? >> i think wednesday morning the headline is going to be missed opportunity. and the reason is because if you look at why romney is running behind in the polls now, he is not particularly well-liked. that's a hard thing to overcome when you're attacking a very
well-liked president. no matter how respectful you are. and his policies reasons very popular. and what he says about the middle class behind closed doors is also not popular. those are hard thing for him to flip on a dime in the course of a 90-minute debate. that's why i think the deck is mildly stacked against him, much as i know democrats are trying to downplay the president's chances. i really think that romney's got a hill that is going to be hard for him to climb. >> brett o'donnell, richard goodstein, two veterans of debate prep. thank you both so much for your time on a saturday afternoon. >> thank you. sure. >> thanks, greg. >> one thing is for sure. 10s of millions will be watching wednesday. the same number will have various opinions on who won come thursday morning. up next, who drew the bomb that was the centerpiece of the israeli prime minister's speech in the yankees. benjamin netanyahu's spokesman will join us after the break. and do bribes work on the campaign press core? mitt romney trying to get on the good side of some reporters with a tasty little treat.
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the obama administration's foreign policy moved domestic concerns to the side for a time this week. the president on tuesday addressing the u.n.'s general assembly meeting. the middle east and the threat posed by iran's nuclear weapons program topped the agenda there. after his speech, the president had no follow-up meetings with foreign leaders, not even with the leader of our closest ally in the middle east, israel's prime minister, benjamin netanyahu. prime minister netanyahu addressed the assembly thursday. and he famously used that image of a bomb with a lit fuse to make the point that iran cannot be allowed to make a nuclear weapon. >> where should a red line be drawn? a red line should be drawn right here.
>> joining me now, mark regev, the chief spokesperson for prime minister netanyahu. good saturday afternoon to you, sir. thank you for coming back. >> my pleasure. >> governor romney spoke with the prime minister by phone on friday after the call. governor romney spoke with reporters about possible action against iran. take a listen, and i want to talk to you about his response on the other side. >> i do not belief that in the final analysis we'll have to use military action. i certainly hope we don't have to. i can't -- i can't take that option off the table. it must be something which is known by the iranians as a possible tool to be employed to prevent them from becoming nuclear. >> does the prime minister agree with governor romney's assessment that military action will not have to be used in iran? >> yesterday my prime minister spoke both to the president and to governor romney. this is not a partisan issue.
i think democrats and republicans, all free people can unite around the concern that exists regarding iran's nuclear program. the worst thing that could happen for us all, if this very, very radical extreme regime gets a nuclear weapon, and we just have to stop it. >> prime minister the president spoke by telephone on friday. quote, i'm going to put it up on the screen here. the two leaders understand that they are in full agreement on the shared goal of preventing iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. did the substance of that call match that of the conversation with governor romney where both men were saying the same thing? >> i think the most important you have to understand is you have a regime in iran which brutalizes its own people. we remember three years ago how they crushed the democratic protest there's by the students. a regime in iran which today is in syria, on the ground, helping assad kill syrian citizens. a regime in iran which supports
terrorism in africa, in asia, in europe, and even here in north america. you can't allow the world's most dangerous regime to get the world's most dangerous weapons. >> why is a candidate running for president deserve the same treatment from the prime minister as a sitting president? >> it's very important for us to show that this is not a partisan issue. it's very important for us to show that this is above the political cycle here in the united states. look, we've got elections next year in israel. we know what elections are. we know the competition. we know what that involves. this issue of iran and nuclear weapons has to unite all free people. it's not nothing to do with the election. >> can you characterize the relationship between mr. netanyahu and governor romney? are they casual friends? are they good friends? are they acquaintances? >> they've known each other for quite some time, even going back when they were young people. i've been in meetings where the two gentlemen have met and talked. i think it's a good working relationship, as he has a good
working relationship with the president where you have mutual respect between the two leaders. under these very lines, the very close relationship between israel and the united states, such a close relationship, an intimate relationship. and every little disagreement, and you can't agree on everything. >> sure. >> gets blown out of proportion like there is some crisis there isn't. we have a good working relationship. and both sides are committed to prevent the iranians from getting a nuclear weapon. >> i want to bring that picture up if i can of prime minister netanyahu speaking before the u.n. a couple of days ago. i want to talk to you about that chart, the chart that he used. did you draw that thing, that wile e. coyote inspired diagram? >> my wife will tell you have i many talents, but drawing is not one of them. >> we think it is effective, though. >> i think when you get to the issue of nuclear enrichment, it get versus complicated. sometimes you think only the nuclear physicists understand what you're talking about. the idea is to make it show few
howe far the iranians have already gone on nuclear enrichment, where they are today and the little time that is left. people have to understand what is the dynamite of a nuclear bomb? it's enriched uranium. and we can't allow them to get that. >> i'm glad you -- i think we need to clarify something here. there has been some confusion about whether he was talking about 90% progress made or actual percentage of uranium enrichment. which was the 90? >> it's the former. if getting weapons-grade uranium is 100%, they're already more than, you know, well on the way there, 70%. we can't allow them to get closer. we don't want them to have a nuclear weapon. i mean this regime, this radical fundamentalist extremist regime, if they get a nuclear weapon, that's like al qaeda getting a nuclear weapon. what does that mean for the planet we all live on? that's bad for everyone who believes in freedom and democracy. you can't allow these extremists to get their finger on a nuclear trigger. >> mark regev, primary spam for
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mitt romney joking that his debate partner plays the president a little too well. time now for the trail mix. while on the campaign trail in ohio this week, romney weighing in on the performance of ohio senator rob portman, who has been playing president obama in romney's practice debates. >> do you know what he does on weekends? do you know what he does? he plays barack obama. can you believe that? he does. he plays barack obama. he plays him well too. i hate to tell you. we get the chance to debate one another after the hour and a half or so is over, i want to kick him out of the room or something. he is so good.
>> yesterday afternoon governor romney passing out a little beef jerky to the members of the press corps on the flight to pennsylvania. any vegetarians on the plane apparently out of luck. president obama doesn't just have the edge in the polls, he also has the edge when it comes to merchandise. the actual sales figures have not been released yet, but each campaign's merchandise orders are made public in fec documents. the obama campaign ordered $6.7 million in research for resale according to monthly filings. the romney campaign $1.6 million. the state of the voter id battles across this country. who is winning the war over who gets to go to the ballot box? we'll talk about that. plus, up next, why a little race in iowa, a little race that you might not have heard a whole lot about could have great implications for you. you're watching msnbc. the place for politics on this saturday afternoon. my doctor told me calcium
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i'm craig melvin. here is a look at some of the top stories making news right now. after a long lockout and a triumph return thursday, the nfl refs have voted to approve an eight-year deal. today's yes vote comes after three weeks of problems surrounding the league-hired replacement refs. soil samples from a detroit area backia are being tested to see if jimmy hoffa is buried there. police removed soil and clay in a search for any evidence of human remains. and out west they're calling it carmageddon 2 in los angeles. traffic is expected to be snarled through the weekend as a ten-mile stretch of the 405 freeway is being closed to rebuild a bridge there. and former "new york times" publisher arthur solzberger has
died. sulzberger's family bought the times in 1896. he ran the paper himself for more than three decades. arthur sulzberger was 86 years old. a local race caught our attention this week. it's going down in iowa there is a heavy campaign to unseat state supreme court justice david wiggins. wiggins is one of the seven iowa justices who took part in the 2009 decision legalizing same-sex marriage in this state. now national republican figures have joined the no wiggins tour as it's being dubbed to urge voters to replace wiggins. three other justices were ousted by a similar campaign back in 2010. why does a race to unseat a judge in iowa have an affect on the rest of the country? bob vander plaats is the chairman of iowans for freedom, one of the no wiggins tour organizers. he joints me by phone from iowa city this afternoon. good afternoon to you, bob.
>> hey, craig, good to be with you. >> critics say your group is going after wiggins solely because of his role in that guy marriage ruling. take a listen to dan moore of the iowa bar. i'm going to talk to you on the other side. take a listen. >> they haven't cited one other decision that has caused them any kind of concern at all. and so i think by saying that it's a principle of the thing is just another misleading statement that they're putting out. >> is this all about that same-sex marriage ruling? >>, no it's all about the constitution, craig. and dan moore, he knows that as well. dan moore happens to be a good friend of mine. he just happens to be on the wrong side of this issue. the state bar association and attorneys like dan and others, they're doing everything they can to protect the institution of the bar association and the courts versus defending the constitution. the barn ham opinion, when people read it, constitutional attorneys, other lawyers, they say it's one of the worst opinions they ever read because
they legislated from the bench. they executed from the bench. they even attempted to amend the constitution from the bench. >> right. >> in their ruling. and when that happens, whether it's marriage or any other freedom issue, the people need to rise up and hold those justices accountable. and that's what they did in 2010. >> a support wiggins tour has also been organized. it's also going across the state. members of this particular group say that judges should remain independent. sheer what had to say. take a listen. we'll talk about this on the other side. >> judges are not politicians. they do not render opinions or rulings in return for votes. they follow the law. >> the founders were very clear on this. the judiciary should be insulated from political pressure. you have the executive, you have the legislative branches, both of them elected. but the judiciary should be insulated. what say you to that? >> what i say to that is that
they were meant to be independent to make law or to execute law on their own. and when that happens, the balance of power has to come in, either the legislative branch has to hold them accountable. we have a split legislature. so they couldn't do it. or the governor needs to hold them accountable. the governor won't do it. the opinion has never been executed. so it's the people of iowa who have to hold them accountable. we agree that the judiciary should be free of politics. well don't want them looking over their shoulder except to stay within their constitutional parameters, because god help us all if we allow a court to be independent to make law and execute law, because we call that tyranny, not liberty. and that's what we -- >> there are also those who would argue that the word that you use is activist. but there are also those who say it's actually just interpretation of the law. i want to bring up one final point here before i let you go here there are a lot of folks who suspect that this could be a classic wedge issue. are you hoping that new voters,
that the new voters your campaign solicits will help governor romney at the polls in iowa? >> there is no doubt that when freedom-loving conservatives go to the polls here in iowa, a crucial toss-upstate, those conservatives are not going to vote for obama. they will vote for romney and the other conservatives up and down the ballot. but the main reason we're doing this, it's the right thing to do. iowans were right when they ousted the other three justices. we hope they're savvy enough this time to take a look at wiggins, get through smoke and mirrors of the bar association trying to hold on to power and defend the constitution. >> so bob vander plaats, you just essentially said that this is in fact a wedge issue. you at least conceded that. >> well, what it, there is no doubt it's going to be a ripple effect. i think could benefit conservatives, which i think is a good thing. but the bigger thing is that you're going to hold an activist judge in check. this guy's got a d-minus rating by his own peers, d-minus. >> you know that there are significant number of people in
this country that truly believe that our justices, our judges who are appointed in most places, but even those who are elected should be elected to interpret the law as they see fit. and that only bad things can happen when you start to subject those same judges to the same type of whims, if you will, of the electorate. >> but here is the deal, craig. the courts are not the final arbitrators in this country. that belongs to the people. and not in the court. >> and that's why you elect lawmakers. we'll have to leave there it. >> we did elect lawmakers, and the lawmakers and the governor, what they do is they passed the defense of marriage act clearly stating marriage is one man, one woman. the u.s. supreme court ruled that the equal protection provision doesn't require states to marry same-sexles. so they disagree with the opinion. and a u.s. district judge out of
hawaii said if he were to do that, it would be judicial legislation. that's why we're going to hold wiggins accountable. >> i think we can't agree on this point. thing is the one point we can't agree on. this is probably one of those issues that ultimately will be decided by the high court. >> well, i don't know if it will or not. i think what it is, the marriage issue? >> yeah. we're going to have to leave it there. we'll pick it up some other weekend. >> all right. take care. >> bob vander plaats, chairman of iowans for freedom. i always appreciate a nice spirited, lively discussion here. so thanks for that. voters in states will face some severe thunderstorm of voter id requirement. it's an issue debated in town halls. it's filling up court dockets across this country as voting rights activists say that poor and minority voters will be shut out. so where do things stand right now? our brain trust today, political editor for the grio.com. karen finney, the former communications director for the
dnc. she is also msnbc political analyst. and robert costa, contributing to cnbc's "kudlow report," and a political reporter at the national review. good saturday to all of you. >> hey, craig. >> nice to see you, craig. >> i'm going to start with you. in a piece for the grio, you write in nearly every battleground state, democrats have successfully cast the laws as discriminatory and unnecessary. and they've won in court, keeping in place largely the same voting laws that existed when obama won in 2008. why do you think -- why have democrats been so successful? >> in general, you have had this from a bunch of states, and not only democratic, but also republican judges have said that these laws shouldn't be on the books. these laws are -- the republicans say these laws will stop voter fraud. and what these judges are saying is there is not real evidence of voter fraud, and certainly not enough to necessitate laws that are disproportionately would affect minorities and elderly
votes. saying these laws are not necessary. and in texas and in ohio, in wisconsin, they've been thrown out by judges. >> karen, have supporters of some of these laws, have -- not only the desired result not been achieved, but has the backlash been one that has emboldened some groups? i can't remember where i read the article. it may have been the "washington post" there was a group of black women basically saying they had been motived to go door to door. >> yep. >> to recruit more voters as a result of this? >> well, i think it certainly has motivated people to make sure they understand the way the laws were changing. but the other thing i didn't hear perry talk about is in many of these instances, what was changed is the requirements and saying to people you have to go get a new form of identification and creating requirements that sort of selectively would disenfranchise groups of voters. so the laws were sort of designed to go after -- this was our perspective, certain groups of people. here is the concern, though.
we don't yet know whether or not we've been successful. i think ultimately when this election is over, we need to have the -- the conversation needs to be about how do we protect the right to vote, not about id. we are seeing all sorts of voter suppression and voter intimidation efforts already under way. and i think they have created enough confusion with the voter id laws. perry and i were just talking about this before we came on the air in a state like even ohio or pennsylvania where people are still not quite sure what the requirements are. so there is a lot of communication that needs to be going on right now to make sure that people know where they're supposed to go vote, what they need to take with them when they vote, and what their rights are when they get there. >> robert, one of the chief knocks has been from the beginning the sheer timing of a lot of these efforts. before 2006 and certainly before 2008, there were a whole lot of state legislators in this country talking about voter id laws. how do you answer the charge that this is purely partisan?
>> when you say that voter fraud legislation is badly timed because it's overly political, or you say it's trying to suppress voters, i'd like to see some evidence for that because on its face -- >> i'd like to some evidence -- >> can i finish my point? >> no, because your point is a factual point. i would like for you to right now give me three examples of voter fraud in this country, substantial voter fraud in the last three years. three examples. >> i think a lot of these laws are preventative to try to make voter fraud eliminate -- >> you can't give me three. give me two. >> i can give you two, craig, and they happen to be both now. ten counties in florida by a republican operative that was getting millions of dollars from the rnc. now we're hearing rumors that there may be other states in this country that the same firm was utilized that may have fraudulently registered voters. >> it's a problem on the write-in. >> democrats aren't fraudulently trying to only register
democrats or throwing out people's voter registration forms if they refuse to vote republican. >> you know, let's take a quick break. i'm going to take a few deep breaths. and we're going to let you guys take a few deep breaths. we got a little worked up here on a saturday afternoon. not exactly sure what happened. when we come back, though, mitt romney, we're going to talk about governor romney trying to rebrand himself as a compassionate conservative. is it too little? it is too late. robert costa, we're going to start with you on that when we come back after this break. bob, these projections... they're... optimistic. productivity up, costs down, time to market reduced... those are good things. upstairs, they will see fantasy. not fantasy... logistics. ups came in, analyzed our supply chain, inventory systems... ups? ups. not fantasy? who would have thought? i did. we did, bob. we did. got it.
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hour. from ohio to iowa, the early birds out in full force in battleground iowa. on thursday, iowa became the first swing state to begin in person early voting with experts predicting that nearly 40% of iowans will cast their ballots before november 6th. so whose campaign does that benefit? we're back with the brain trust, perry bacon, robert costa, we'll start with you. whose campaign does it benefit early voting? >> i think both republicans and democrats have pretty effective ground games, especially in the midwest, though. this is very important for mitt romney. ohio, iowa, wisconsin, these are rust belt states with industrial manufacturing employees throughout most of the states. and mitt romney has to win these voters if he wants to put together a puzzle on the electoral map that really works out for him. >> karen, iowa is a historic place, especially for president obama. how is the ground game there this time around compared with what we saw four years ago? >> it's very strong.
and remember, the differences. frankly, they've had four years through the democratic party and organizing for america on the ground, sort of continuing to cultivate those relationships. one of the things we haven't really talked that much about yet in the context of the broader election is voter registration. and democrats have actually, the obama campaign has very much focused on voter registration which will i think ultimately help in their early voting efforts. you get somebody to register early, vote early, and get them to bring ten friends and bring them to the polls. >> what does the romney campaign have to do to encourage republican turnout? is there the enthusiasm for the base this time around? >> the polls are showing there is a pretty strong enthusiasm among the base. what most of the polls i've seen show both the democratic base and the republican base have very enthusiastic. i think for those undecided voters who are the big factor, these debates which are going to talk about later, these debates are so important for romney to really make a days kasey and really kind of turn around.
the one thing that will make voters, republicans not turn out is they feel like romney is going to lose by five points, which the polls show now. so we has to close that gap to make sure a few republicans don't stay home on election because they feel like it's a lost cause. >> mitt romney campaigning in ohio this week. he spoke repeatedly about his empathy for struggling americans. i want to take a listen, and then we'll talk about it on the other side. take a listen. >> i've been across this country. my heartaches for the people i've seen. i think the president cares about the people of america. i care about all the people in america. but i know how to help the people of america. we have people that are hurting. we have people who are disabled and people who are poor. they need our help, and they receive our help. we're a charitable people. >> we are a charitable people, karen. is this compassionate conservatism 2.0? >> oh, of course. because mitt romney cares so much about those people over there. are you kidding me? come on. in particularly, he was in ohio,
which is actually doing fairly well, much better than the national average. and one of the biggest issues in ohio was not only their are labor issues where mitt romney was on the wrong side, so there are in any number of issues. the auto bailout obviously being another huge issue where he has some troubles in such an important state. look, i think it's clear mitt romney made a huge mistake with that 47% video. he may likely look back on that as a key moment in this campaign. so he is doing everything he can to try to turn that around. the problem about that he has is that video really plays into his fundamental flaws as a candidate, and that is that people don't trust him. in a room full of rich donors, he said one thing. now here he is something else. >> brain trust, stand by for just a few more minutes. a few more minutes. up next, advice from bob dole. this is the kind of thing that mitt romney certainly wants to hear right before his first debate. we'll share it with you right after this. ♪
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snoouchlt. i just don't understand why anyone thinks it's a good idea to elect judges. [ trust. we're not going to talk about that. we don't have time for that. bob dole. his opinion piece in yesterday's "washington post" about losing the '96 presidential election. he writes, quote, i am reminded of just how much life there is after presidential politics. the greatest of life's blessings cannot be counted in electoral votes. perry bacon, the timing strikes me as a tad ominous. is this preemptive advice? >> the race is not over. everybody should read this piece. it's a great piece. it's very funny. and bob dole talks about viagra in a very humorous way in this story, which is worth checking out. >> charlie cook in his cook report noting that he is seeing some shades here of '96 in this election.
next week or ten days critical for romney in the gop if things don't turn around? if things don't turn around, there could be a stampede. republicans reeling bob dole is not going to defeat president clinton is repeating itself. there is a lot of criticism that the romney campaign is incompetent. do you see those shades of bob dole there as well? >> mitt romney is often compared to bob dole because they're both running against relatively popular democratic incumbents, and for their vice presidential pick, they pick supply-side congressman. here is the difference, bob dole when he ran was senate majority leader, a washington insider. mitt romney is a bain capital guy coming from the outside as the governor of massachusetts. >> karen finney, you've got ten seconds. robert took all of your heim. thursday morning after the debate, what are we talking about? >> we are talking about 2016 -- no i'm kidding. we are analyzing if each candidate because i don't believe in trying to lower expectations. we're talking about whether each candidate has actually done what
they needed to do to make their case to the voters that they're trying to reach. >> longer than ten seconds. but that's okay. thank you so much. i appreciate you being part of the brain trust. appreciate you as well. we'll be back here tomorrow 3:00, sunday afternoon. we'll see you then. [ male announcer ] let's say you need to take care of legal matters. wouldn't it be nice if there was an easier, less-expensive option than using a traditional lawyer? well, legalzoom came up with a better way. we took the best of the old and combined it with modern technology. together you get quality services on your terms,
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